Zoom Recording Best Practices for Privacy

Like other course content created as part of university activities, these recordings are subject to the Johns Hopkins Intellectual Property Policy. Zoom recordings should be treated as subject to federal student privacy law (FERPA) and the Johns Hopkins University FERPA Policy if students are personally identifiable in the recordings. Please contact your divisional Registrar with any questions.

Best Practices

Zoom is not the recommended tool for creating pre-recorded lectures that can be shared with students. Instead, Panopto is a tool with more options and flexibility for creating asynchronous content. Consult your divisional teaching and learning specialists to see what tools are supported locally.

If an instructor chooses to record Zoom sessions in which students’ participation may be captured, they should do so in accordance with the following guidelines to minimize recording identifiable student participation as required by FERPA policy:

  • Use the following Zoom settings (These are set in compliance by default and should not need to be adjusted). To adjust or verify settings, go to your WSE Zoom account in your browser:
    • Disable the “record gallery view” option and enable the “record active speaker with shared screen” option in order to only record those who speak during the session. Students can choose to not show their video if they do not want it captured when they speak.
    • Disable the option for “display of participants’ names in the recording.” Names will still be viewable to participants during the meeting, but will not be included in the recording.
    • Enable the “require password to access shared cloud recordings” option.
  • Students may opt-out from identification in the recording by muting their audio, not enabling video, and not typing in the chat window. In these cases, students should still be considered in attendance and not penalized in any way, and instructors should work with students to determine an alternate method of participation.
  • Notify students beforehand that Zoom sessions will be recorded – i.e. in the course syllabus. Similarly notify students beforehand that they may opt-out from identification in the recording by muting their audio, not enabling video, and not typing into the chat window. Remind students at the beginning of the class (either orally or using a slide) that the session will be recorded, and their options for opting-out of identification in the recording. In addition, all participants will automatically be notified of and be prompted to consent to the recording in Zoom.
  • Instructors should not insist upon student participation that reveals identifying information during the session.
  • Consider offering to pause the recording when students participate to avoid capturing their audio and video. For instructors who desire to make recordings available to other classes/cohorts, avoiding capture of student audio and video during class participation will allow the instructor to share the recording without first obtaining student consent prior to sharing a class recording. (See additional information below.)
  • If an instructor insists upon participation that reveals identifying information during class (either by audio, video, or chat), then the session should not be recorded.
  • Delete recordings of identifiable student participation, including complementary files (e.g. transcript, chat logs) and Zoom recordings hosted on other platforms (e.g. Panopto), as soon as your obligations to your students allow. Deletion by 120 days after the last day of the course is recommended unless the recording is subject to a litigation hold as directed by the Office of the Vice President and General Counsel. Until it is deleted, any recording of identifiable student participation should be treated as a student record subject to FERPA.
  • Disable the “local recording” option. For most instructors, recordings should be kept in the cloud and not downloaded to a local computer. Instructors with accounts that reside on https://jhjhm.zoom.us are subject to HIPAA restrictions; typically, these are faculty/staff who have appointments in SOM, JHHS or affiliates. For these instructors, cloud-based recording is disabled. Graduate student instructors also cannot record to the cloud. These instructors can enable local recording and share via a HIPAA-compliant resource (e.g., OneDrive) if required or using a University video management service (e.g., Panopto).
  • Access to class recordings must be limited to students in the class for educational review purposes. Faculty should include a statement on the syllabus or communicate in an equivalent method to all students in the class, “Class meetings recorded by the instructor may be shared with students in the class for instructional purposes related to this class. Students are not permitted to copy or share the recording with others.” For any disclosure beyond the class or for other purposes, identifiable student information must be removed or students who are identifiable must provide written consent prior to disclosure.

Zoom Recording FAQs

  • May I record my synchronous class meetings conducted on Zoom?
    • Yes, instructors may choose to record class sessions conducted on Zoom. Doing so comes with a
      responsibility to secure student consent and protect student privacy. See JHU’s Guidelines for
      Recording with Zoom for more details.
  • Are the recordings of my class sessions subject to the JHU Intellectual Property Policy?
  • Are the recordings of my class sessions subject to privacy laws and policies?
    • Yes, Zoom recordings, transcriptions, and chat logs should be treated as subject to federal
      student privacy law (FERPA) and the Johns Hopkins University FERPA Policy if students are
      personally identifiable. Please contact your divisional Registrar with any questions.
  • How do I provide notice and secure consent when recording a synchronous class
    meeting?
    • Notify students beforehand in your syllabus that Zoom sessions will be recorded and
      transcribed and that they may opt-out from identification in the recording by muting their
      audio, not enabling video, and not contributing to the chat window.
      Remind students at the beginning of the class meeting (either orally or using a slide) that the
      session will be recorded and transcribed. Include a reminder of the available methods for
      opting-out of identification.
      A recording notification and consent pop-up will appear to any person participating in a
      meeting that is being recorded on a JHU-hosted Zoom account. Those who do not consent to
      being recorded will not be able to remain in the meeting.
  • How can students reduce their risk of identification in a recorded class session?
    • Students may opt-out from identification in the recording by muting their audio, not enabling
      video, and not typing in the chat window. In these cases, students should still be considered in attendance and not penalized in any way, and instructors should work with students to
      determine an alternate method of participation.
  • May I require students to participate in ways that reveal identifying information during a recorded class meeting?
    • No. Instructors cannot not insist upon student participation that reveals identifying information
      during recorded sessions. If you require this type of student participation to effectively teach,
      then you should not record the class meeting.
  • May I share the recordings of my class meetings with the students in that course, whether they attended that session or not?
    • Yes, you may share a class recording with the students enrolled in the course, including enrolled students not in attendance during the class meeting. Include a statement on the syllabus or
      communicate in an equivalent method to all students in the class, “Class meetings recorded by the instructor may be shared with students in the class for instructional purposes related to this class. Students are not permitted to copy or share the recording or transcriptions with others.”
  • May I share the recordings of my class meetings with people who aren’t enrolled in the course?
    • The answer depends on whether students are identifiable in the recording. If students are not
      identifiable in the recording, then the recording may be shared. If students are identifiable,
      then class recordings, transcriptions, and chat logs are considered student records under
      FERPA, and access must be limited to students in the class for educational review purposes. For any disclosure beyond the class or for other purposes, identifiable student information must be removed or students who are identifiable must provide written consent prior to disclosure.
  • Should I activate AI-generated captioning in Zoom?
    • Yes. Use Zoom’s artificial intelligence (AI)-generated captions whenever available as a universal design approach to support a range of learners.
  • Are AI-generated captions sufficient for a registered accommodation?
    • No. AI-generated captions are not yet accurate enough to provide effective communication
      when students have communication access real-time translation (CART) or captioning as an
      accommodation.
  • What is the Zoom AI Companion?
    • The Zoom AI Companion is an intelligent virtual assistant integrated within the Zoom platform, designed to enhance meeting experiences. Meeting hosts can streamline their meetings by automating tasks such as note-taking and follow-up actions. Through natural language processing and machine learning algorithms, the AI Companion can transcribe discussions, summarize key points, and generate actionable insights. 

      Use of the AI Companion must be manually enabled in meetings by a Host or Co-host by clicking the "Start Summary" button in the Zoom toolbar. 

  • May I use the Zoom AI Companion in my meetings? 
  • What are the privacy implications of using Zoom AI Companion?
    • When the AI Companion is enabled in a meeting, a popup window will advise participants of the usage of the tool, prompting them to accept or leave the meeting. Meeting participants are identified in the meeting summary by first name. Students may opt-out from identification in the meeting summary by muting their audio or leaving the meeting, and should not be penalized for doing so.